Here’s Why HTML5 and JavaScript Engines Are So Popular

We live in a world where, thankfully, there are no shortage of great game engines. All the big ones are here, of course: CryEngine, Unreal and Unity. But there are also smaller engines making an impact, such as Godot. But today I want to focus on HTML5 and Javascript engines. They seem to pop up everywhere, and more and more commercially successful games are being made with them as well. Let me tell you why HTML5 and JavaScript game engines are so popular.

FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY

One of the biggest factors for the success of any new enterprise is sustainability. The fact that you can create commercially viable games with HTML5 and JavaScript game engines totally set these apart from earlier “easy” game engines which, due to technical limitations, also limited the sales potential of the games. One such example is the world of online casinos, where Flash used to be king. With the technology now deprecated, new online slots sites as well as established players are relying on cross-platform web technology such as JavaScript and HTML5 to deploy future-proofed ventures. This is not just a hobby anymore. This is a highly profitable business venture. And these engines are at the forefront of commercial success.

TRANSLATABLE, CROSS-PLATFORM TECHNOLOGY

As I mentioned before, JavaScript and HTML5 are cross-platform technologies. This means that a developer can utilize a single code base and deploy their games onto mobile phones, PCs, browsers and even embedded devices. Even game consoles are now targetable through the use of middleware applications, which allow HTML5 and JavaScript games to be played on Nintendo Switch, Playstation and XBox.

But the cross-platform benefits don’t end there. Because HTML5 and JavaScript are web technologies, a developer who is well versed in these languages has potential to work beyond the games industry. Instead of engines such as GameMaker, whose language is only useful to develop within its own IDE, HTML5 and JavaScript can be (and are being) used to develop web apps, mobile apps, websites and more. This attracts potential developers who know that any skill they acquire in the use of developing with a HTML5 and JavaScript engines can be brought over into commercial applications.

ACCESSIBILITY AND DOCUMENTATION

Another great thing about HTML5 and JavaScript engines is the abundance of them. You can start with a free engine such as GDevelop, or go for a commercial engine such as Construct (which I love). There are even bespoke engines for certain genres, such as RPG Maker MV (for role-playing games) and TyranoBuilder (for visual novels).

This narrows the scope of an engine, allowing it to develop a particular thing much more easily and readily. And because the engines are developed using commonly used web languages, there’s abundance of documentation as well. You can be stuck with a problem and have it solved 5 minutes later thanks to a Google search and some custom JavaScript.

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT FOR HTML5 AND JAVASCRIPT ENGINES

There’s no shortage of demand for good game developers. In fact, as gaming has become more profitable than filmmaking and the music industry, game developers are in high demand. And web technologies are evolving to the point where it’s possible to do nearly everything on-browser, that once required a dedicated native app.

This combination of versatility and accessibility make HTML5 and JavaScript engines Swiss Army Knifes in a world of screwdrivers and hammers. Add to that the fact that games and applications developed in HTML5 and JavaScript have proven to be financially viable, and I can foresee decades of usage still for HTML5 and JavaScript engines, both in and outside gaming.

About Marcos Codas 250 Articles
Lover of portable gaming and horror cinema. Indie filmmaker and game developer. Multimedia producer. Born in Paraguay, raised in Canada. Huge fan of "The Blair Witch Project", and "Sonic 3D Blast". Deputy head at Vita Player and its parent organization, Infinite Frontiers. Like what I do? Donate a coffee: https://www.paypal.me/marcoscodas

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